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Патент USA US2132023

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Oct. 4, 1938.’
w. w. FULLER
Filed Feb. 18, 1.933
2 Sheets-Sheet l
Oct. 4, 1938.
w. w. FULLER
I 2,132,023
Filed Feb._ 18, 1953
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Patented Oct. 4, 1938
2,132,023 ‘_
William W. Fuller, Norfolk, Va., assignor to Her
moine Fuller, Norfolk, Va.
Application February 18, 1938, Serial No. 191,284
6 Claims. (01. 180——79.1)
This invention relates to an improvement in a
power steering apparatus for vehicles in which
mechanical impulses are utilized for steering the
pilot wheels. This device is particularly adapt
able for trucks and tractors where considerable
manual effort must be applied. to the steering
wheel in order to give the pilot wheels the de
sired turn. For example, when a car, truck or
tractor is in a stationary position, the force nec
10 essary to turn the pilot wheels is many times
greater than the force necessary to turn these
same wheels should the vehicle be in motion.
This increased resistance to turning is caused
partially by the increased bond between the pilot
wheels and the supporting surface while in a
stationary position. It will also be noted that
when in stationary position, if the wheels are
only turned a very slight amount the resiliency
within the tires will restore the wheels to the
original position; consequently it is necessary
to hold the steering wheel in the desired position
against this resistance o?ered by‘the tires. This
resiliency in the tires plays a very important
When the driver fails to follow-up vthe turning
movement of the steering wheel the switch will
automatically open and cut oil? the power to the
It is a further object of this invention to provide
a rocker gear concentrically mounted on‘ the
steering shaft of an automobile, said rocker gear
being driven by impulses from any suitable'source
of power and means engageable with said rocker
gear upon the turning of the steering wheel of 10
the automobile to cause the pilot wheels of the
car to be turned in the desired direction by the
impulses. This rocker gear has teeth so con;
structed on the- periphery thereof that the
engaging means will vnot stick when contact is 1:5
made. ‘The contact surface 'of the ‘engaging
means contacts the? surface of the tooth- at a
slight angle thus producing a tendency for the
engaging means to slip ‘off the tooth when the
pressure on the steering wheelis released. This
prevents» any locking or sticking effect in : the
operation'of the pawls or engaging means; con
part in power steering mechanisms, because it is
sequently the steering effect is directly dependent
upon how much follow-up pull is applied to the
necessary to use mechanical impulses for moving
steering wheel.
the pilot wheels gradually in the desired direc
Some of. the objects of the invention having 4
tion. The smaller the impulses used, the more
gradual and unnoticeable will be’ the change.
Since very small impulses are used, there must
been stated, other objects will appear‘as the de
scription proceeds when taken in'connection with
the accompanying drawings, in which—
Figure 1 is a plan view of the front portion of 30
30 be some means provided to follow up the wheel
advancement made by these impulses to hold the
wheels in the position placed. Otherwise the
tires would return the wheels back to the orig
inal position, and the e?ect of the power steer
ing mechanism would only be to cause the front
wheels to shimmy or vibrate.
' 1
It is, therefore, an object of this invention to
provide a means for producing and utilizing me
chanical impulses to turn the steering worm gear
40 of an automobile with a follow-up means for
holding the pilot wheels in the position placed
by the maximum stroke of these impulses. Such
an apparatus will allow very small impulses to
be used and consequently the change will be
smooth and unnoticeable. In other words, the‘
means for registering and retaining each impulse
is provided in this apparatus;
It is another object of this invention to provide
a power steering mechanism of the class de
scribed together with a suitable switch operable
upon the turning of the steering wheels of the
a chassis of an automobile showing my invention
applied thereto;
Figure 2 is an elevation taken along the line
2-2 in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view
with portions thereofbroken away, and taken
along the line 3—-3 in Figure 1;
Figure 4 is a transverse sectional view take
along the line 4-4 in Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a sectional plan view taken along 40
the line 5-5 in Figure 3;
Figure 6 is a view taken along the line 6-6 in
Figures 4 and 5;
Figure 7 is a sectional view taken along the
line 1—1 in Figures 4 and 5;
Figure 8 is a schematic wiring diagram show
ing how the parts of the invention are wired elec
Referring more speci?cally to the drawings, the
numeral l0 denotes the chassisof a motor vehicle
which has pivotally secured thereto as at H and
automobile to cause a motor to deliver the im
i2 pilot wheels l3 and M, respectively. These
pulses which cause the pilot wheels to be moved
in the desired direction. This switch is normally
open when the wheels are directedstraight ahead.
pilot wheels are operated by suitable levers l5 and
I6, which levers have the free ends thereof con
.nected to each other by'means of tie rod ll. The
lever |6 has another arm |6a integral therewith
to which is secured one end of a steering link 20,
the other end of said link having a socket 2|
thereon in which is mounted ‘ball 22. This ball
is disposed on the lower end of lever 23 which
‘has its upper end ?xedly secured to shaft 24.
The ends of shaft 24 are supported for oscillation
by housing 25 which housing is'secured to the
chassis ID of the "automobile by. any, suitable
means such as stud’ bolts ‘.21. I v
' V
. The housing 25'has a cover 28 secured thereto
therewith a forked yoke 43a, in which is disposed
an eccentrically mounted ring 55. This ring'55 is
mounted around eccentric cam 56 which cam is
?xedly secured around a motor shaft 5?. Suit
able balls 58 are disposed between ring 557and
cam 56.
The motor shaft- 5'! extends from a
motor v6E3, said motor being secured to cover 28
by means of bolts 29 and 6|.’ As the motor shaft
5l‘rotates, a rocking motion'will be'imparted to
gear 4|] and its gear teeth 42. With the pawl 43 10
moved into engagement with the teeth 42 as here
by any suitable means such as stud bolts 29, and; .. to‘fore described, it is evident that the clockwise
threadably secured in this housing is a cylindri-' rotation of the wheel 43 will also impart a clock;
cal steering column housing 30 "which ‘projects j wise rotation to the hub 46. The hub member 46
15 upwardly into the cabin of an automobile near“ has another radiallyextending arm 63, integral 15
the driver’s seat. This housing 'hasjrotatably
vtherewith, said arm having a hollowed-out p01‘:
tion 64 near its outer end. Disposed in this ho'l->
end of said column having a jspi-ra'lly disposed . lowed-out" portion isan arm 65 which extends
radially from hub‘ 5. The arm 65 is normally
gear 32 ?xedly secured thereon. This gear is en
gaged by a roller 33 which roller is rotatably' ‘ held in a’ centered position in the l1ollowed~out
mounted in the upper end of ‘arm 34, said arm, in portion 64 by means of vsprings 66-and t'hthese ‘
mountedtherein a steering column 3|, the lower
turn, being ?xedly secured aroundcross-shaft 24
(Figure 3). The. upper end of the co1umn3| has
springs being disposed on the upper and,~_the'
?xedly secured thereon a steering wheel 35 which
lowed-outportion 64.
is operated by the driver.
46 is rotated in a clockwise manner, this rotation ,25
7' ,_
When the steering wheel 35 is turned in _a,_clock
wise manner'in Figure '1, the roller 33 and arm 34
will’ be moved inv a counter-clockwise j manner
with shaft 24 as a pivot (seeFigure 3;) .7 This will
.30 cause thelink 20 in Figures land 2 to be moved
- to the right and. thereby cause the pilot wheels I3
and M to turn in a clockwise manner. Of_ course,
"when the steering wheel>35 is turned in the oppo
site direction, the pilot Irwheelsg will j-likewisevrb'e
35 turned in the correspondingmanner.
In order to provide a powersteeringmechanism
in association with the’ conventional steering ap-~
paratus just described, a ringgear 4B is mounted
uponthe steering; column 3|. This gear’ is con
centrically, and freely mounted ‘around the steer
ing column 3| so'that it may rock'ineitherdirec
tion. The inner periphery of ring ‘gear40 has a
plurality of'teeth 42'which teeth‘are adapted to
be engaged by pawls 43 or 44,‘ depending upon the
direction in which the steering columnis turned.
Special attention is called to the bevel ends of the
pawls 43 and 44 and also vthe bevel-teeth ,42.
lower sides of the arm 65 and also'within thehol- .
when the
hub ,
is imparted to the arm 65 and the hub 56 through
the spring 66 which in turn will cause the steering 7
column 3| to’ be rotated. On the other hand, let
us assume that we'desire to turn the steering col
umn 3| in a counter-clockwise manner in Fig
ure 4.
the'arm 49- will cause the dogs 43, and 44. to rotate
in a counter-clockwise manner about pivot point
45 which, in turn, will cause the ~paW1-44lto engage .
the teeth 42.
> The rocking motion of the gear 4|] will impart.
a counter-clockwise motion to the pawls and
member 46,’ as well as to the arms 63 and 35. The
motion from the arm 63 will be imparted to the .
arm 65 through the medium of spring 61 thereby 4O
causing the shaft 3| to’ be-rotated in a counter- 7
clockwise manner due to the power delivered by
the motor 60.
; 1
The pawls 43 and 44V are held‘ in a centered PQ":
sition relative to the upstanding ‘arm- 46w, by
means of springs 69 and 7,.these springs being’
disposed upon opposed’ sides of a projecting lug,
46b of‘the member 46. ‘It is thus seen .thatwhen
the driver fails to follow up themanual rotation
with the teeth ‘42, a vslight angle will be present
of the steering wheel, the springs 69 and 10 will
restore the pawls 43 and 44 to' a centered posi.—
. between these two surfaces, thereby creating a
tendency for the end of the pawl’ tov slide off the
teeth when contact is made‘a'nd thus preventing
the two surfaces from sticking together‘or'bindé
55 ing when the gear 40 is oscillated.
Thepawls 43 and 44 are constructed from one
piece of material which .in turn is pivctally.
mounted as at 45' to the upper end of an arm
This arm is‘integral withrhub 46 which is
likewise lo'osely'mounted around steering column
Then upon a slight rotation of this shaft,
pawl 43 or the pawl 44' is rotatedintoengagement
These bevels are so- constructed that when‘the
tion about the upstanding arm 46 which will cause.
pawls to become disengaged from the teeth 42 and
43.> These springs also furnish an additional
means for causing the pawls to be released from
engagement with the gear teeth 42. 'Therangu
larity of the teeth relative to the 'angulari'ty' of
theends of the pawls '43 and 44 also play an
important part in insuring that the pawls will
not become stuck after once becoming engaged. 60
3|. Extending'upwardly from the member upon
' It will be noted that the pawls 43 and 44 have‘
which pawls 43 and 44i0C'Cul‘ is'an‘arm‘ 41' which integral therewith projecting portions 66a and
is forked at its upper end.‘ This'fork is adapted llla'which are disposed on opposed sides of lug
to accommodate a suitablepin 4B which pin pro
46b. There is a slight clearance between this lug
65 jects laterally from upwardly'exteiiding arm 43} ' and portions 69a and 130. when the parts are in
This arm ‘49 is‘ integral with“ hub “56 which is the normal-position as shown in Figure 4. If; for
?xedly secured around steering column 3|. ~With any reason, the springs 69 or 10' should become
the mechanism described, when the steering ‘col
inoperative, the portions 6961. or 10a will engage
the lug 4% upon the turning of the steering col
71111111 3| is turned in a clockwise manner in Fig,
70 ure 4, the arm .49 will rotatein'the same manner umn and‘insure that ‘the'pawls 43 or'44 will be
and cause the pawls 43 and 44 to rotate in a clock
rotated into engagement with teeth 42. Where
wise manner about apivot point 45. When this the rotation'of the pawls is dependent upon the
is done, the pawl 43 will move up into engagement projections 69a and 10a. the apparatus is not quite
with the teeth 42 of gear wheel 40.
so sensitive and the action of the pawls will be
> The upper portion'ofring gear 40 has integral somewhat delayed; however, it will operate effec
tively. .As long as manual pressure or force is ex
erted upon the steering wheel 35 in one direction
or in the other, one ofthe dogs 43 and 44 “will
be‘held in aposition where the teeth 42 will en
gage the end thereof and for each: oscillation or
stroke of the gear wheel 46, a corresponding move
This rigid connection between the arms 65 and
63 is established by‘ means of a suitable forked
member 90 (Figures 5 and '7). The forked end
of member 90 ?ts over the portion 65a of arm 65
when the members 63 and 65 are connected to
gether; This arm is shown in this position in
Figure 7 at which time manual steering only can
to cause power from the motor to help steer the be accomplished. In Figure 5, the arm 90 is
shown in a disconnected position, at which time
As heretofore stated, these oscillations of the power steering is accomplished.- The forked end 10
gear member 40 necessarily should be small to of arm 96 is adaped to straddle the portion 65a
make the movement of the pilot wheels gradual . and ?t 'into', the cavity or hollowed-out portion
and smooth. Where small oscillations are used, it
64 in the arm 63. The prongs of the forked
is necessary to provide a follow-up »mechanism member 96 are of such a thickness as to substan
for holding the advances of the pilot wheels made tially ?ll up the space 64 not occupied by the por 15
by these oscillations. There is a degree of elas
tion 65a. of the arm 65, and‘ when the forked
ticity in the automobile tires that will normally member is placed in the position shown in Figure 7
return the wheels to the original position, espe
the arms 63 and 65 must move together. The
cially if the wheels have not been moved enough 1 arm 90 is ?xed on the lower end of a rod 9| which
rod is disposed Within thesteering column 3|.
~ to break the‘ bond between the wheels and the
surface upon which they rest. Therefore, I have The upper portion of rod 9I has‘a'suitable button
provided a follow-up mechanism which is oper
92 on the upper end thereof. Suitable notches
ated simultaneously with the dogs 43 and 44 93 and 94m cut in the periphery of rod 9i and
just described. This mechanism comprises a these notches are adapted to be engaged by a
toothed ring 15 which is ?xedly secured in a suitable spring 95 to hold the rod .in the posi-} 25
stationary positionto the cover 28 as at ‘I6, (see tion placed.
Figure 5). Suitable dogs TI and "I8 are adapted
With the spring 95 engaging notch 94 as shown
to engage theseteeth when one of the pawls 43 in Figure 3, the forked member/Wis pulled to
or 44 is rotated into engagement with teeth 42. a disengaged position as shown- in Figure 5.
The pawls ‘I? and ‘I8 are pivotally secured as at When the notch 93 is' pushed downwardly into 30
19 to downstanding arm 86 of the member v>46. engagement with the spring 95, the forked mem
The dog ‘I8 has a pair of pins 8I projecting there
ber‘9? will straddle the'lportionv 65ar‘as shown in
from between which projection 8240f pawl ‘I7 is Figure 7, and in this position,v any rotation which
adapted to loosely ?t,
'7 ' ~'
is impartedto the arm 63 will likewise impart the
ment will be delivered to the steering column 3I,
The dogs TI and ‘I8 movesubstantially at the
same time, although they are held in a centered
position about the downstanding ‘arm 86 by any
suitable means such’ as springs '84 and 85, said
springs being disposed on opposed sides of lug 86
which projects from the downstanding leg 86. A
suitable link 81 has its lower end connected to dog
same amount of rotation to the arm 65.
This will 35
prevent the electricallcontac'zts 6? or 98 from
contacting the conductive surfaces‘ 99 or I00;
Since it is necessary that one of ‘these contacts
be made in order that the circuit to the motor 60
11 and its upper endconnecting to hub 50 as
be established, it will be impo'ssible‘forvpower 40
steering mechanism to be brought into play, with
the forked member 90 in‘the position shown in
When the steering vcolumn 3| ‘is turned in, a
45 clockwise manner, the dog 43 will "engage teeth
42 and at the same time’the dogs TI and ‘I8’ will
be rotated in a'clockwise manner to cause the dog
18 to engage the teeth in gear 315'. Since ‘these
dogs move simultaneously it is seen that ‘any
advance made by the pawl 43, as a result of its
contact with teeth 42, will beheld by the dog‘ ‘I8
which engages the stationary ring gear ‘I5. Con
'Leading from the contacts 91 and 6B is a con
ductive rod I02.
This rod has a brush I63‘ on its 45
outer lendwhichnormally presses against con
ductive ring 'I 04, said ring being secured to cover
28 by any suitable means such as bolts‘ I65 ‘and
I06. Bolt I66 also acts’as a conductive member
to which one end of wire I0‘! is attached. 'This
wire_ has its other end secured to motor 66 as at
I68. Leading from the ‘other side of vmotor 66
versely, when the shaft 3| is turned in a counter
clockwise manner, pawl 44 will engage teeth 42
and at the same time the pawl ‘I’! will engage
the teeth in the stationary ring ‘I5 to follow up
as .at ‘IDS is another-wire IIIl,'-which' wire-is con-i
nected to the positive terminal of battery I II.
The battery I I I is grounded as at I I2 by wire I I4. 55.
the advances that are made in the opposite di
cause either dogs 43 or 44 to engage the teeth‘42,
one of thecontacts 9'! or 98 will contact‘surfaces
99 or I00 to cause the ‘circuit to be completed, at
which time'the current will'be allowed to ?ow
from'the battery III through wire III} to motor
66, wire IIJ'I, conductive ring I64, brush I63, mem
vSuch a device furnishes a means for
controlling the stepping-up,v resulting from the
impulses, and prevents any back-lash upon the
steering column due'to the tendency of the pilot
, Whenever the steering c'olumn‘3I isrotated to
wheels to return to the original position, or due
to the oscillation created by the cam’ 56. There
are twice as many notches in ring ‘I5 as in ring
gear 4!]; therefore if the ring gear isionly rotated
ber I62, and to the'member 63 which acts as a
ground. Likewise in this case, when the. driver
fails to follow-up the advance made by the vsteer 65
one-half notch, the movement resulting from this
ing mechanism; the springs‘66 and 61-‘ will center
advance will be held.
It is frequently desired to operate the steering
device manually without aid of-power steering.
the arm 65 relative to' the arm 63 at which time
neither of the contacts ill or 98 will come into
engagement with the surfaces 99 or I66. 'There-'
When such is desired, it is only necessary to pro
vide means for rigidly securing the arm 65 to
fore, the motor 66 will stop. By using such a 70.
device, it is seen that the motor is only operated
the arm 63 so that no relative rotation can take
when it is necessary'to deliver vthe power, re
place between the two members.‘ When 'thisis
sulting in a very efficient steering mechanism.
done, there will be no possibility of an electrical
75 contact being created.
" It is, therefore seen thatI vhave provided a
power» steering mechanism which ‘may be ‘in-' 75
2,1 32,023
l 4
stalled‘ at any .point along the steering-column
and manually controlled means for preventing
to assist the driver in directing the pilot wheels
relative movement between the ?rst member and
the ?xed member to prevent energization of the
In the drawings ‘and'speci?cation there has
motor and also prevent the. ?rst pawls from en-I
to the desired position. f‘
been set» forth a preferred embodiment of the
invention and although speci?c terms; are'em
ployed they'are usedin a generic and descriptive.
sense only and not for the, purposes of limitation,
the scope of theinvention being set forthin
the appended claims.
1‘. Power steering apparatus for motor vehicles
comprising a steering column provided with a
steering wheel, a housing surrounding a portion of
said steering column intermediate itsiends, a ring
gear having internal teeth andbeing mounted for‘
gaging the ring-gear uponturning'movement of Ci
the steering column.
v 3. Power steering apparatus formotor vehicles
having a steering column, a casing surrounding a .
portion of the steering column intermediate its
ends, an electric motor having a single circuit for 10’
energizing said motor. to run in one direction only,
a member mounted for oscillation by said motor, 7
means movable by rotation of the steering vcol
umn for closing-the circuit to said motor to os
cillate said member, and means also movable by 15
rotation of the'steering column for connecting
the steering column to said oscillating member
oscillation on the steering’ column, a member
loosely mounted on said column, a pawl member ' ?to deliver vforce ‘from the motor to the steering
mounted for oscillation on said'member and h_av-,
ing a pair of oppositely 'directed'pawls thereon
adapted to engage said ring gear one at atime
during a steering operation, said pawl,v member
:4. Power steeringapparatus for motor vehicles
having asteering column, a‘casing surrounding av
portion of the steering column intermediate its
having a slot therein, a member fixed on said
steering column and having an arm provided with
ends, an electric motor having a single circuit for
a pin for engaging said slot and impartingswing
ing movement to said pawl member tovcause one
of the pawls to engage'the teeth of said gear, said
?rst member having a pair of spaced. contact
points, said ?xed-member having asecond arm
a, member mounted for oscillation by said motor, 25
means movable by rotation of the steering column
energizing said motor to run in one direction only;
for closing the circuit to said motor to oscillate, '
said member, means also movable by rotation of
the steering column for connecting the steering
30. provided with a pair of contacts for engaging one
column to said oscillating member to deliver force
of the ?rst pair of contacts when the steering
column is rotated, an;electric motor having a’
circuit of which the spacedv contact pointsnform
a part, a second ring gear ?xed on the interior of
from the motor to the steering column, and addi
tional means movable ‘by turning movement of
the steering column for preventing retrograde
movement of the steering column as long as man-.
said housing,'a~ second pair of oppositely directed
pawls mounted in'said?rst‘ member and engagee
umn in the selected direction.
able one at a time with said second ring gear, a
link pivoted to said ?xed member andto said last
named pawls for causing the last-named pawls
to engage saidsecond gear when the ?rst pawls
engage the ‘?rst gear to thereby hold the ?rst
pawls in position to prevent retrogrademovee
ment of the steering column.
2. Power steering apparatus for motor vehicles,
ual' pressure isapplied to move the steering col
. '
5. Power steering apparatus for motor vehicles
having: a steering column, a casing surrounding a
portion of the steering columnv intermediate its. .
ends, an electricmotor having a single circuit for
energizingsaid motor to runin one direction only,
a membermounted for'oscillation'by said motor,
means movable by rotation of the steering’col-f
umn for closing thecircuit to said motor’to os
comprising a steering column provided: with a
cillate said member, meansralso movablebyrro
steering wheel, a housing surrounding a portion
of said steering column intermediategits ends, a
tation of the steering column for connectingthe
steering column to ‘said; oscillating member'to'
deliverforce fromrthemotor to the steering cola .
umn, and manuallyoperable means for prevente
ing movement of the means movable by the steer 50'
‘ring gear having internal teethfand. being
mounted for oscillation on the steering column,
amember loosely‘ mounted on said column, a
pawl member mounted forv oscillation on said
ing column and also preventing energization- of
member and having a pair of oppositely directed
themotor upon movement of the. steeringcolumn.
pawls thereon adapted to engage said'ring gear
6. Power steering apparatus for motor vehicles
one at a time during a steering operation,’ said
pawl member having a slot- therein, a member
?xed on said steering column and having an arm
having a steering column, a casing surrounding a
provided with a pin for engaging said slot; and
imparting swingingmovement to said pawl mem
ber to cause one of the pawls to engage the teeth
60 of said gear, said ?rst member having a pair of
portion of the steering column intermediate'itsv
ends, an electric motor having a single circuit for f
energizing said motor to run in one direction
only, a member mounted for “oscillation by said
motor, means movable by rotation of‘the steering
column’ for closing the circuit to saidmotor to 60
spaced contact points, said ?xed'memb'er having
' oscillate said member, means also ‘movable by ro- ,
a second arm provided with a pair of contactsfor
engaging one of the ?rst pair of contacts, when
tation of the steering column for connecting the
steering column to said :oscillating member‘ to
the steering column is rotated, an,,electric motor
deliver force from the motor to the steering col
umn, additional means movable by turning move; 65
ment of the steering column for preventing retro
65 having a circuitvin whichv the spaced ‘contact
. points form a part; a'second ring gear ?xed on
the interior of saidhousinga second pairof op
positely directed pawls mounted in said ?rstv
member and engageable one at a time with said
70 second ring gear, a link pivoted to- said ‘?xed
member and to said last-named pawls for caus
grade movement of the steering column as long
as manual pressure isapplied to move the steere
ing column in the selected direction, and manu
ally operable means for, preventing movement of
the means movable by the steering column and
ing the last-named 'pawlsatoengage said second
also preventing energization of the motor upon
gear whenthe ?rst pawls engage the ?rst gear
to thereby hold the ?rst pawls in position to pre
movement of the steering column.
vent retrograde‘movement .015 the steering column,
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